Courtsey Microsoft TechNet Blog , Microsoft Community Blog

This combination enables Lync customers to take advantage of the global reach of Skype to connect and collaborate with suppliers, customers, and partners while relying on the enterprise richness of Lync. This initial set of features includes:

  • Adding Skype contacts to Lync and vice-versa, enabling presence sharing
  • Audio calling and instant messaging between Lync and Skype users
  • Management settings for Lync administrators

What about end users?

Lync users can connect to Skype from Lync 2010 or Lync 2013, including any of the 2013 mobile clients.

Skype users will need the latest Skype client available from Skype.com. Today, Lync-Skype connectivity is supported from the Windows and Mac desktop clients with more options coming soon as other clients are updated.

Additionally, Skype users must sign in to Skype with a Microsoft account (formerly Windows Live ID) to communicate with Lync contacts. A Microsoft account is the combination of an email address and a password that you can also use to sign in to services like SkyDrive, Windows Phone, Xbox LIVE, and Outlook.com (and previously Hotmail or Messenger). If you use an email address and password to sign in to these or other services, you already have a Microsoft account. If you don’t have a Microsoft account, it’s easy to create one. You can merge your existing Skype account with your Microsoft account for single sign-on across a variety of applications and services.

Can’t communicate with AOL, Yahoo!, or Google Talk users

Lync 2013 for Office 365 supports external Skype for Business (Lync) users, and Skype users signed in with a Microsoft account. Communication with other IM providers isn’t supported.

Seeing it in action

Lync users add Skype contacts by typing their Skype users’ Microsoft account names into the Add Skype Contact window in Lync. Click the Add a Contact icon > Add a Contact Not in My Organization > Skype, then enter their Skype contact information and click OK.

Skype users add Lync contacts by typing their email addresses into the search bar within Skype and clicking Add to Contacts.

Once the recipient has accepted the add-contact request, presence information is exchanged and updated.

To start an audio call from Lync, make the same clicks as if the contact were a fellow Lync user.

The experience appears like a Lync call to the Lync user and a Skype call to the Skype user.

Lync call window

Skype call window

And remember, Skype users need to sign in to Skype with a Microsoft account, which can be linked to an existing Skype ID.

Troubleshooting Skype for Business-Skype Connectivity.

Microsoft recently announced the availability of Lync-Skype connectivity. If you haven’t been able to get up and running yet, then you’ve come to the right place.

Before you begin though, check out our three most popular answers:

1.     The Skype user must be signed in with a Microsoft account (formerly Windows Live ID).

2.     If the Skype user is using their own email address as a Microsoft ID (for example, bob@contoso.com instead of bob@outlook.com or something similar) then you have to format their name like this when you add them as a contact: bob(contoso.com)@msn.com. Learn more.

3.     To receive contact requests from Skype, the Skype for Business user has to set their alert level as follows: go to Options > Alerts > Contacts not using Skype for Business and choose Allow invites but block all other communications or Allow anyone to contact me.

Did any of these suggestions get you connected? If not, read on (and if you’re an admin, take a look at  the Provisioning Guide for Skype for Business-Skype Connectivity)…

Lync Server and Skype for Business

A Skype for Business user does not receive a contact request from a Skype user

This can happen when the Skype for Business user has Skype for Business options set so they are not notified when someone else adds them as a contact.

Solution           The Skype for Business user must go to Options > Alerts > General alerts, and then select Tell me when someone adds me to their contact list.

A Skype for Business user removes a Skype user, but the Skype user can still see Skype for Business user’s presence and send IMs

This happens when the Skype for Business user chooses Remove from Group instead of Remove from Contact List.

Solution           In the Skype for Business main window, click Relationships, and then remove the Skype user from the list.

When a Skype for Business user calls a Skype user, the call sometimes fails

This currently happens in less than one percent of the cases, and is scheduled to be fixed in the next service update.

Workaround     Try the call again. NOTE:  A fix for this will be available by June 30 as part of the Skype for Business cumulative update.

Skype for Business users can’t communicate with Skype users who have a Microsoft account with a custom (EASI) domain

A Skype for Business user adds a Skype user with a custom Microsoft account such as bob@contoso.com, and can’t see their presence or send them IMs.

Workaround     Add the contact using the following format: bob(contoso.com)@msn.com, where bob@contoso.com is the custom Microsoft account name of the person you’re trying to contact.  For details, see Skype for Business users can’t communicate with external contacts who have Microsoft accounts that have a custom (EASI) domain.

 Office 365 Small Business customers have External communications turned on, but can’t connect to Skype users

Before May 20, 2013, turning on External communications for Small Business customers didn’t automatically turn on Skype for Business-Skype connectivity. Now it does.

Workaround     Switch External communications off and then back on again. Go to Admin > Service settings > Instant messaging, meetings and conferencing > External communications.

Skype users

Skype users signed in with a new Microsoft account notice a delay of several minutes in seeing the presence status of a newly-added Skype for Business contact

This situation occurs when the Skype user signs in with a newly created Microsoft account, and the Skype for Business user has the following alert setting: Options > Alerts > Contacts not using Skype for Business > Allow anyone to contact me.  

Workaround     You can either wait for five minutes, or sign out of Skype and then sign back in. You can then see the Skype for Business user’s presence.

A Skype and a Skype for Business user remove each other as contacts, and then attempt to add each other as a contact again, but are not successful

This happens when a Skype and a Skype for Business user both remove each other as contacts. When one person tries to add the other contact again, the other person does not receive a contact request.

Workaround     The Skype for Business and the Skype user must both add each other as contacts again.